OCCUPY! Zuccotti Park Raided by NYPD, Top Aid to Oakland Mayor Resigns…..and I Talk Occupy on NBC’s The FilterNovember 15th, 2011 by Celeste Fremon
NYPD CLEARED ZUCCOTTI PARK OF OWS PROTESTERS AND TENTS AROUND 1 AM TUESDAY MORNING…PROTESTERS DID NOT GO HOME, AT 4 AM EVERYBODY WAS STILL IN THE STREET
The New York Times reports:
Hundreds of New York City police officers began clearing Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday, telling the people there that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” before the morning and that any demonstrator who did not leave would be arrested….
The best coverage was on Twitter and the several live feeds coming from the moving sites of the protest.
Once among many disturbing notes as the early morning wore on, was the report that press covering the situation were told they would lose NYPD press passes if they didn’t vacate the area, according to a videographer who told what he witnessed on the UStream live feed that was on the Reuter’s site.
WBAI, the Pacifica station, has been broadcasting calls from the park.
Twitter was also full of reports of press being turned away. Mother Jones reporter @JoshHarkinson was one of those who was able to slip in and was tweeting actively, but said that he was one of the few.
This is one of several videos of police and protesters that look alarming
OAKLAND MAYOR JEAN QUAN’S LEGAL ADVISER AND OLD FRIEND RESIGNS MONDAY OVER HER HANDLING OF OCCUPY
The San Francisco Chron has the story. Here’s how it opens:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s chief legal adviser, a longtime friend, resigned Monday after what he called a “tragically unnecessary” police raid of the Occupy Oakland camp.
Dan Siegel was one of two aides to defect from Quan’s administration Monday. Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu also quit, but said her resignation had nothing to do with the police sweep.
Siegel, a civil rights attorney and one of Oakland’s most active and vocal police critics, said the city should have done more to work with campers before sending in police.
“The city sent police to evict this camp, arrest people and potentially hurt them,” Siegel said. “Obviously, we’re not on the same page. It’s an amazing show of force to move tents from a public place.”
Siegel strongly opposed any plan by the city to take down the month-old camp in the days leading up the police raid.
Oakland has become “the most hostile city to the Occupy movement,” he said Monday. “Where else are they having 600 police officers take down some tents?”
By the way, putting those 600 cops on the street–many of which were borrowed from 13 outside law enforcement agencies—cost the city $500,000.
I WAS NBC’S THE FILTER WITH FRED ROGGIN ON FRIDAY…TALKING ABOUT OCCUPY
The Filter with Fred Roggin is always an enjoyable show for me to do, and I was happy to get to talk about the Occupy movement. However, be forewarned that, when we taped, I chatted quite volubly, thus the final segment required some substantial snipping which left most of my lighter comments, so I may sound as though I was trivializing Occupy, which wasn’t the case. But perhaps not. Watch and you tell me.
At the very least, you will get to hear me fearlessly mangle the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man.
OCCUPY LA TO BRING IN SOCIAL WORKERS TO HELP HOMELESS WHO HAVE JOINED ENCAMPMENT
This is a very smart idea. The AP has the story.
Occupy Los Angeles is taking a new tack in trying to grapple with the nettlesome issue of the homeless people who have moved into the tent village—social workers.
Volunteer social workers are scheduled to visit the camp surrounding City Hall on Saturday in a bid to help some of the more troubled residents, possibly moving them to facilities better equipped to deal with their problems, said organizer Darren Danks.
“We love their support, but there’s a percentage who need social services,” he said Monday.
The Occupy movement, formed as a protest of government economic policies perceived to favor the rich, operates with an all-are-welcome policy, and organizers will even try to find a tent for those who lack one. But they admit the homeless have been an unanticipated challenge that has diverted the focus from political activities to keeping internal order.
“It’s created disorder in the encampment,” said organizer Clark Davis. “It’s sort of weakened our stance.”
An influx of mentally ill and drug addicted homeless moved into the 485-tent camp soon after it sprang up six weeks ago, drawn by its free meals, toilets and showers, and a largely tranquil community free of police harassment and the strict rules of shelters that many homeless people dislike.
The camp’s location at City Hall is only blocks away from Skid Row, where some 800 people bed down on sidewalks nightly and 1,000 others sleep in shelters.
JEFFREY SACHS SAYS THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT AIN’T GOING AWAY BUT MAY USHER IN A NEW ERA OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS
From the NY Times over the weekend, a very intriguing read. Here’s a clip:
OCCUPY WALL STREET and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings. We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent…..
MATT TAIBBI DIDN’T GET OCCUPY, NOW HE DOES
Here’s a clip from the middle of the essay by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi , but read the whole thing.
….There’s no better symbol of the gloom and psychological repression of modern America than the banking system, a huge heartless machine that attaches itself to you at an early age, and from which there is no escape. You fail to receive a few past-due notices about a $19 payment you missed on that TV you bought at Circuit City, and next thing you know a collector has filed a judgment against you for $3,000 in fees and interest. Or maybe you wake up one morning and your car is gone, legally repossessed by Vulture Inc., the debt-buying firm that bought your loan on the Internet from Chase for two cents on the dollar. This is why people hate Wall Street. They hate it because the banks have made life for ordinary people a vicious tightrope act; you slip anywhere along the way, it’s 10,000 feet down into a vat of razor blades that you can never climb out of.
That, to me, is what Occupy Wall Street is addressing. People don’t know exactly what they want, but as one friend of mine put it, they know one thing: FUCK THIS SHIT! We want something different: a different life, with different values, or at least a chance at different values.
There was a lot of snickering in media circles, even by me, when I heard the protesters talking about how Liberty Square was offering a model for a new society, with free food and health care and so on. Obviously, a bunch of kids taking donations and giving away free food is not a long-term model for a new economic system.
But now, I get it. People want to go someplace for at least five minutes where no one is trying to bleed you or sell you something…
Photo by Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency, Robert Stolarik for The New York Times